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St. Peter's Basilica
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skiptheline vatican sistine chapel st. peter’s tour

Skip-the-Line Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Tour

Duration: 2.5 hours
3612 Reviews
GetYourGuide Original
3612

Immerse yourself in the Vatican's awe-inspiring art with no-wait access to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more.

St. Peter's Basilica: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in St. Peter's Basilica

Top sights in Rome

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The Majestic Architecture of St. Peter's Basilica

The world-famous St. Peter's Basilica took 120 years to complete and involved some of the most talented architects of its time. It's arguably the greatest achievement of late-Renaissance architecture – here are five highlights amongst its countless marvels.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Square

The magnificent entrance to the Basilica consists of a gigantic square, featuring a 25-meter obelisk at the center, encircled by colossal Tuscan colonnades four columns deep.

The Facade

The Facade

The Basilica's facade, designed by Baroque architect Maderno, is 114 meters wide and 45 meters tall. Built entirely from travertine stone, it's quite simply breathtaking.

The Nave

The Nave

The opulent interiors, including Maderno's lavishly-decorated nave, are so immense that it can be hard to judge the building's proportions.

The Dome

The Dome

At 136 meters, Michelangelo's famous dome is the tallest dome in the world. It stands proud in Rome's skyline and offers a staggering panorama of the city.

Vatican Grottoes

Vatican Grottoes

Below the Basilica, there's a large network of tunnels housing the Vatican Grottoes. Many popes are buried here, including John Paul II and the first ever pope, St. Peter himself.

Our insider tips

Mind the Dress Code

As a Catholic building, appropriate clothing is required to enter St. Peter's Basilica. Regardless of the high temperatures in Rome during the summer, shorts, bare shoulders and miniskirts are not allowed – the dress code is strictly enforced.

Arrive Early to Avoid the Lines

The queues to enter St. Peter's Basilica can get extremely long. It's therefore a good idea to arrive early, especially at the height of summer when temperatures can be sweltering. From April to September, the basilica's opening hours are from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, while from October to March, the basilica is open from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Note that most mornings, the queues are already snaking around the square by 11:00 AM.

See the Pope

Every Wednesday, the Pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square, and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to score a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open daily, 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
    Wednesdays (Papal audience), 12:00 PM-6:00 PM
    Holiday hours may vary
  • Is it expensive?
    Ticket prices vary depending on group size.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Recommended!
  • How to get there
    Buses 64, 60, and 40 will get you to the Vatican City. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Bring a covering for your shoulders, and do not wear shorts or short skirts.

    • Use sunscreen and bring water for when you are waiting in line outside.

What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

Overall rating
4.3 / 5
based on 81,001 reviews

Having the right expectations is important...

Is this worth it? Yes. Is it going to blow your mind? Yes. So do I recommend it overall? Yes, for sure. However, it’s just important that you know this tour is like lightning speed version overall. You definitely save precious time with the skip the line options but know you will still have to wait at various times for various things. Also, you will have a chunk of time where you’ll stand outside and they’ll just talk at you describing certain things because you can’t talk in the Sistine chapel. There is SO much to see at the Vatican museums and you’ll probably see about 1/3 of it. Then at the end you get dropped off in St Peters Basilica and find your own way from there, which is great if you have time to wander around. The tour guide was very helpful and deepened our appreciate for the art and the experience, so I recommend a tour guide for sure. Especially if you can afford a private tour guide! So, definitely a good experience, just have the proper expectations going into it!

Good opportunity to avoid the big queues

Very helpful guide, who took us round the main collections in the Vatican museum and then into the superb Sistine Chapel. It wasn't his fault that the Pope had decided to induct new cardinals that day so we couldn't go through to St Peter's basilica and had to queue another day! Be warned - security at St Peter's was tight: we inadvertently left a picnic knife in our rucsac and had to give it up or not get in!

The tour was really good but was unable to get pictures as so busy.

The tour guide was excellent. There was lots of information. It took a while before we actually left to go to the places and then it was so busy inside that we were unable to take the time to look at the things or get pictures. There was so many people inside the chapel and the museum that it was becoming dangerous and a health and safety matter due to many people pushing and getting hurt.

The tour was made by the excellence of our guide, Lindy.

Thanks Lindy, the best guide we have had by far. Not only did you count numbers and check we were all there, you rotated us around so all could look at the objects and take pics. You had a sense of humour, excellent English and a good knowledge of your subject. Superb job. Thanks a million.

Excellent! The only way to see the Vatican & avoid crowds

Monica, was our guide. Monica was excellent, knowledgeable and entertaining. It is the only way to see the Vatican, we were able to see the Vatican without the crowds. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to visit the Vatican. We were thrilled with this tour and our guide!

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